Australien v Nullarni
Australien v. Nullarni, 1 NWP 1 (2010) is a significant case in New Warsaw Pact law for being the first Arbiter's Court case, and for setting several important precedents. The court's ruling on this case formed the basis of several parts of election procedure defined in the NEW WARSAW PACT Charter.
The case was a result of the NEW WARSAW PACT's first governmental elections, where Australien successfully won the election for two different positions, the position of regional steward and minister for defence. Australien requested to hold both offices, however Nullarni, as the founder of the region, denied Australien's request. Australien subsequently petitioned the Arbiter's Court to overturn Nullarni's ruling. The Arbiter at the time, Renposa, upheld the decision of Nullarni, much to the dismay of Australien.
Australien v. Nullarni was the first time the Arbiter's court had agreed to hear a case concerning a regional dispute. It brought into question the Founder's complete sovereignty over the NWP and established the court's authority to review the Founder's decisions; both grey areas in the inner-workings of the New Warsaw Pact.
The full proceedings of Australien v. Nullarni can be found on the NEW WARSAW PACT forum.
Background of the Case
In order to establish a firm regional government in light of the rapid expansion of the NEW WARSAW PACT during the month of February 2010, the NWP's founding members organized a governing system. This government lacked the reinforcement of a charter or constitution, leaving the door open to both confusing and potentially damaging situations. The regional government and the candidate selection process were established through the declarations of the Founder, Nullarni, along with general member consensus. Without an established regional charter or constitution, the regional government derived its authority from the delegation of the Founder's sovereign control over the region.
In the first governmental elections on March 8 2010, Australien was elected to hold both the position of Regional Steward and the position of Minister of the Military. Within the region there was no consensus on how to handle the situation. In light of the NWP's inability to resolve the matter, the Founder declared that Australien would only be allowed to hold one position at a time, and that he must choose which one he would fill.
Seeing that there was no legal basis or precedence to support the Founder's declaration, Australien petitioned the Arbiter's Court to make a ruling on the case. On March 13, 2010, the Arbiter's Court decided to hear the case.
The NEW WARSAW PACT at this time did not have any defining laws concerning elections. Australien winning the elections for both the positions of Regional Steward and Minister of the Military marked an unforseen crisis in the region's democratic process, as established by general consensus. Holding both positions would give Australien the ability to vote in Parliament proceedings and also give him the ability to veto anything passed by the Parliament with a 3/5 majority.
Australien argued that since he won both elections by a sizable margin, he had a valid claim on both positions. He also argued that it was in the interest of the region's democratic process that he be allowed to fill the two positions simultaneously. It was his belief that the preservation of democracy within the region significantly outweighed the disruption of the balance of powers of the three branches of government. Australien further argued that personal bias could still be exercised by anyone with the power to veto, regardless of their position in parliament. Not only this, Australien stated that as there was nothing expressly forbidding such a situation, there was no basis on which to deny the roles.
Nullarni believed that a separation of powers within the regional government was of the utmost importance. He claimed that allowing Australien to hold the position of Regional steward and the position of Minister of the military simultaneously would obliterate the separation of powers, and defeat the purpose of having a three branch regional government. It was the belief of Nullarni that the separation of the three branches was required for the long term stability of the regional government. Nullarni stated that "Our concern is that in holding the positions of Regional Steward and Minister of the Military they will severely damage the system of checks and balances written into the system. And while we are completely confident in the United Socialist States of Australien's loyalty...allowing them to hold these two positions sets a very dangerous precedence for the future". Nullarni had no expressed concerns with Australien's honesty in filling these positions, but felt it would seriously undermine the system for future nations.
On March 14, 2010, after hearing both arguments the Arbiter, Renposa, rendered his decision. The Arbiter ruled that Australien would be allowed to only fill one position, that he would have to decide which one he would fill, and that a special election would be used to fill the remaining election. Renposa continued on to advise the Parliament to pass laws to establish a sound electoral process.
Australien agreed to abide by the Arbiter's ruling, and chose to fill the position of Minister of the Military. The position of Regional Steward then went to a special election just days later.
Effects of the Case
Australien v. Nullarni set several important precedents in the NWP regional government. It established not only the authority of the position of the Arbiter, but also established the judiciary's ability to review decisions made by the Founder. It also established the right of the Arbiter to review and make rulings on the legality of regional elections.
The case's ruling also had a large effect on the final draft of the NEW WARSAW PACT Charter. Because of this case, the Charter does not allow a nation to run for multiple positions at the same time. It also was the cause of the Charter's usage of special elections whenever there was a question as to the results.
Controversy Behind the Case
There have been unsubstantiated claims,(allegedly originating from Australien,)that Nullarni assured Renposa that the court would have greater authority than originally intended in exchange for a ruling in Nullarni's favour. However, there are claims in equal abundance that the case was not at all valid and that it was merely fabricated to establish the Arbiter's Court's authority. Accounts differ from Australien and Renposa cooperating in order to work towards undermining Nullarnish authority over the region, to Nullarni rigging the elections in order to ensure Australien would contest Nullarni's ruling in the court, or even claims that all three parties knew of the plot. However, there is little evidence to support these claims.
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